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northernmost of the three lakes, the last of which is called Connecticut Lake, should be considered the northwestern most head of the Connecticut River, set out in the treaty of Ghent; and further, that a new line should be run from thence to the river Saint Lawrence, in such manner as at all events to give Rouses's Point, Dear Lake Champlain, to the United States. This award made by King William was rejected by both governments.
All efforts to settle the northeast boundary question having failed through negotiation, joint commission, and reference to a sovereign as arbiter, Lord Ashburton, sent specially as a commissioner for the purpose on behalf of Great Britain, and Daniel Webster, Secretary of State, on behalf of the United States, at Washington, D. C., on August 9, 1842, concluded a treaty which settled the northeastern boundary line of the United States (as indicated in the definitive treaty with Great Britain in 1783, and under the fifth article of the treaty of Ghent), and the present boundary lino from the Atlantic Ocean to the river Saint Lawrence was established, and continuing westward from the western terminus of the line as laid down by the commission under the sixth article of the Treaty of Ghent (see below) to the westernmost water of the Lake of the Woods, and from this point thence westward, conforming to the second article of the treaty of 1818 (see below), and south to the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude.
This still left the question of northern boundary line from the Rocky Mountains westward to the Pacific Ocean unsettled.
NORTHERN BOUNDARY LINE TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.
Article VI of the Treaty of Ghent, 1814, provided for a commission to mark the boundary line from the river Saint Lawrence to the western point of Lake Huron. Peter B. Porter and John Ogilvy, succeeded by Anthony Barclay, were appointed commissioners on behalf of the United States and Great Britain respectively. Samuel Hawkins, succeeded by Joseph Delafield, was the American agent, and J. Hall British agent. Stephen Sewell was secretary, and was succeeded by Donald Frazer, who was assistant secretary, succeeded by John Bigsby, and he by Richard Williams. They agreed, and reported from Utica, N. Y., June 18, 1822, and this portion of the boundary line was established. As a separate duty this commission were also to determine “where is the middle of the rivers and lakes forming the northern boundary to the water communication between lakes Huron and Superior.” They reported June 18, 1822, awarding the islands to the north of the line which was established to Great Britain and those to the south of it to the United States.
Article VII of the Treaty of Ghent enjoined upon the commission, provided for in Article VI (as above), after action upon that branch of its work, to define the northern bouwdary line westward from the wesiern point of Lake Huron to the northwestern waters of the Lake of the Woods. The commission failed to agree upon this, and so reported. This portion of the northern boundary line was established by the second article of the Webster-Ashburton treaty of August 9, 1842.
In consequence nf the acquirement by purchase by the United States of the province of Louisiana, which extended westward from the international boundary line (the Mississippi River), October 20, 1818, at London, a convention was concluded between Albert Gallatin and Richard Rush for the United States, and Frederick John Robinson and Henry Goulburn on behalf of Great Britai'. It settled this portion of the northern boundary line by Article II of said treaty, and it was thus extended westward from the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods to and along the forty-ninth parallel north latitude to the Stony (Rocky) Mountains.
In the treaty of August 6, 1827, between the United States and Great Britain, at Loudon, this agreed portion of the northern boundary line was confirmed and continuod. It was finally fully confirmed by the eleventh article of the Webster-Askburton treaty of August 9, 1842.
Congress, March 19, 1872, authorized the survey and marking of the boundary between the United States and the British possessions from the Lake of the Woods 10 the summit of the Rocky Mountains. Archibald Campbell was appointed commis. sioner on the part of the United States, and Capt. D. R. Cameron, R. A., on behalf of Great Britain. A corps of astronomers and engineers were detailed and selected on behalf of the respective countries, Capt. P. Anderson, R. E., being the British chiet astronomer. The American corps of engineers were Lieut.-Col. F. U. Farquhar, Bvt.Maj. W. J. Twinning (who became chief astronomer for the United States), Capt. James F. Gregory, and Lieut. F. V. Greene. Congress appropriated $50,000 for this. work. The line was surveyed and the boundary monuments established. (See Senate Ex. Doc. 41, second session Forty-fourth Congress.)
NORTHERN BOUNDARY WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.
Through deference to Spain, who claimed title by discovery to the entire Pacific slope (as well as by purchase from Frince of the province of Louisiana), the northern boundary line was not extended westward from the Rocky Mountains.
After the purchase of Louisiana by the United States, in 1803, the Government opened negotiations with Great Britain for fixing the northern boundary line of the province of Louisiana. In 1807 an agreement was reached by the two nations, but not signed. The war of 1812 between them prevented its consummation.
The question was not opened again until the treaty of October 20, 1818, and then only to the Rocky Mountains. Spain by the treaty at Washington February 22, 1819, waived this claim and ceded to the United States her claims to Oregon Territory.
The French, prior to their sale of the province of Louisiana and possessions to the United States, claimed the country south of the British possessions and west of the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, by reason of discovery and exploration of the Mississippi River. This claim the United States, being the successor of France, also urged and stood upon.
The United States held an independent claim to that portion of the Louisiana purchase known as Oregon, based upon the discovery of the mouth of the Columbia River in May, 1791, by Captain Gray, of Boston, in the ship Columbia, naming the river from his ship.
The convention between the United States and Great Britain of October 20, 1818, kept the line indefinite, and in the third article provided for joint occupancy and use of the territory claimed by both by the people of the two countries on the northwest coast of America, westward of the Stony (Rocky) Mountains, without prejudice to any claim of either of the contracting parties to any part of said country. This was to hold from ten years from the 20th day of October, 1818.
This still left this northwestern boundary line undefined.
The convention between the United States and Great Britain of date August 6, 1827, by Albert Gallatin, on behalf of the United States, and Charles Grant and Henry Unwin Addington, by the first article indefinitely extended this provision, with the right of either party, after October 20, 1828, on twelve months' notice of the intention, to annul and abrogate the same.
Article III again reserved the claim of either party to the territory west of the Stony or Rocky Mountains.
THE NORTHWESTERN-BOUNDARY QUESTION.
The northwestern-boundary question was a source of constant irritation and serious trouble between the United States and Great Britain and their citizens.
In 1824 the United States opened negotiations with the Emperor of all the Russias for a treaty to define the boundaries of the respective countries on the northwest coast. Russia had a large undefined claim (Alaska) to territory. The treaty was made at St. Petersburg, Russia, April 5-17, 1824, and admitted the sovereignty of Russia over the northwest coast from latitude 54° 40' north to the North Pole. This treaty did not attempt to fix the eastern boundary of the Russian possessions. It was made by Henry Middleton on behalf of the United States and Le Comte Charles De Nesselrode and Pierre de.Poletica on behalf of Russia.
Great Britain not desiring that the United States should have an advantage by the definition, inferentially or otherwise, of the boundary line between her territory and the Russian, at once negotiated a treated with Russia of date February 16-28, 1825, conceding to Russia dominion over the coast to the north of 54° 40' north latitude, and defining the eastern line of the Russian possessions where they formed the wostern line of the British possessions, being the present eastern line of Alaska.
In 1846, after great political heat and discussion and occupation of disputod territory by armed forces of both nations, by a treaty at Washington concluded between Great Britain and the United States, by Richard Pakenham and James Buchanan in behalf of their respective countries, June 15, 1846, it was agreed by Article I that the northern boundary line should be continued westward along tbe said forty-ninth parallel of north latitude to the middle of the channel which separates the continent from Vancouver's Island, and thence southerly through the middle of the said channel and of Faca Straits to the Pacific Ocean, and thus the boundary line was extended from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean along the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude. This treaty was adopted by the Senate of the United States by yeas 41, nays 14. Under this treaty the government of Great Britain claimed that the British channel referred to was the so-called Straits of Rosario. The United States claimed that it was the Canal de Haro. This remained a disputed question from 1846 to 1871.
TREATY OF WASHINGTON.
By the treaty of Washington of May 8, 1871, creating a High Joint Commission and plenipotentiaries, consisting of the Earl de Grey and Ripon, Sir Stafford Northcote, Sir Edward Thornton, Sir John A. McDonald, and Montague Bernard, on behalf of Great Britain, and Hamilton Fish, Robert C. Schenck, Samuel Nelson, E. R. Hoar, and George H. Williams, on behalf of the United States, this question was considered for settlement.
Under Article XXXIV the decision of the question as to a portion of the boundary line between the United States and British possessions west of the Rocky Mountains, under the first article of the treaty of June 15, 1846. This, known as the northwestern water boundary question, was left to the arbitration for decision without appeal of his majesty the Emperor of Germany. George Bancroft was agent of the United States, and Admiral James Provost agent for Great Britain.
NORTHERN BOUNDARY LINE SETTLED.
October 21, 1872, William I., Emperor of Germany, rendered his decision in favor of the Canal de Haro, thus sustaining the claim of the United States and settling finally the northern boundary line east and west between the United States and Great Britain.
Thus it required the period from the preliminary treaty of peace with Great Britain, November 30, 1782, to the 21st day of October, 1872, the date of the decision of the Emperor of Germany on the Canal de Haro, to settle and define the northern boundary of the United States-about ninety years. This boundary line west of the wester'ı
boundary of the State of New York and to the Pacific Ocean became the northern boundary line of the public domain.
EASTERN BOUNDARY OF THE UNITED STATES.
The present eastern boundary line of the United States—the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico-was settled by the preliminary treaty and by the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain, September 3, 1783, and subsequently by treaty of purchase with Spain at Washington, February 22, 1819, between John Quincy Adams on behalf of the United States and Luis de Onis on behalf of Spain, by which was ceded to the United States by Spain the provinces of East and West Florida
This eastern boundary line of the United States became the eastern boundary of the public domain south of 31° north latitude and in the State of Florida ; the continuation of this eastern line of the public domain northward from 31° north latitude the western boundaries of the States of Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia (now West Virginia), Pennsylvania, and New York, to the northern international boundary Jine.
WESTERN BOUNDARY OF THE UNITED STATES.
The western boundary line of the United States from latitude 49° north, going south, the Pacific Ocean, was determined by discovery (Captain Gray's, 1791), and the purchase from France of the province of Louisiana, under treaty at Paris, France, April 30, 1830, by the United States, concluded by Robert R. Livingston and James Monroo on behalf of the United States, and Barbé Marbois on the part of France, and by the purchase from Spain of the Floridas February 22, 1819, from latitude 490 north (confirmed by various treaties set out in description above of northern boundary lines), along the Pacific Ocean to about latitude 42° north. From latitude 42° north, going south, by capture and the treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo, between the United States and Mexico, February 2, 1848, between N. P. Trist, on behalf of the United States, and Luis G Cuevas, Bernardo Couto, and Miguel Atristain, on behalf of Mexico, whicb extended the present western boundary of the United States from parallel 420 north latitude, going south, to the point between the thirty-second and thirty-third parallel of north latitude, now forming the division line between the United States and the Republic of Mexico.
The entire western boundary line of the United States is the western boundary lino of the public domain.
SOUTHERN BOUNDARY OF THE UNITED STATES.
By the definitive treaty with Great Britain, September 3, 1783, the southern boundary was described as follows:
South by a line to be drawn due east from a point where the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of north latitude intersects a line drawn along the middle of tho Mississippi River east to the middle of the river Appalachicola or Catahouche, thenco along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint River, thence straight to the head of Saint Mary's River, and thence along the middle of Saint Mary's River to the Atlantic Ocean.
The present southern boundary line was settled, beginning at the Atlantic Ocean and running west, by the treaty, at Washington, of purchase, from Spain by the United States, of Florida, February 22, 1819, which extended the line westward along the southern coast of Florida to the limits of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 ; by the treaty of purchase from France by the United States, at Paris, April 30, 1803, of the province of Louisiana. The eastern boundary of this latter purchase, as claimed by the United States in her controversy with Spain as to the boundaries of the provinces of East and Winů Florida, were conceded by Spain in the treaty of purchase of February 22, 1819.
This extended the boundary westward from the west boundars of Florida, west of the meridian 87° west longitude along the south coast of Louisiana, to the Sabine River.
By the annexation of Texas, December 29, 1845 (the act of the Congress of the United States), the southern boundary was extended southwestward from the Sabine River along the Gulf of Mexico to the Rio Grande River, up and along the Rio Grande River, running northwest, and forming the boundary line between the United States and Mexico, to the plateau of the Sierra Madre, 31° 47' north latitude, from the turning point westward on the boundary line between the United States and Mexico; which was further extended by the Gadsden Purchase of the Mesilla Valley by the United States from the Republic of Mexico, at the city of Mexico, December 30, 1853.
This extended the southern boundary westward from the point 31° 47' north latitude on the Rio Grande, established by the annexation of Texas and the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, to a point on the Colorado River twenty miles below its junction with the Gila River, thence north to the line between California and Lower California.
By the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1818, the southern boundary between the United States and Mexico was fixed as starting in the Gulf of Mexico, three leagues from the land opposite the middle mouth of the Rio Grande River, and up the middle and along that river to the boundary of New Mexico, touching the point 31° 47' north latitude; thence north to the thirty-third parallel north latitude on the plateau of the Sierra Madra; thence west on a random line to the Gila River and along it to a point twenty miles north of its junction with the Colorado River; thence across the Rio Colorado west to the Pacific Ocean, following the division line between Upper and Lower California.
The Gadsden purchase moved the line south between the point 31° 47' north latitude on the Rio Grande, being now the southern boundary of New Mexico and Arizona, to the point twenty miles below the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers, being the eastern point of the line between California and Lower California, and thence north.
The southern line of this purchase is described as extending west from the point 31° 47' north latitude; thence due west one hundred miles; thence south to the parallel 31° 20' north latitude; thence along the said parallel of 31° 20' to the one hundred and eleventh meridian of longitude west of Greenwich; thence in a straight line to a point on the Colorado River twenty miles below the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers; thenco up the middle of the said river Colorado until it intersects the present line between the United States and Mexico; and this is the present boundary between the two Republics.
This left the extension of the line from the Gila and Colorado rivers west to the Pacific the same as establisbed by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and thus the southern boundary line was extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific in the period from November 30, 1782 (the preliminary treaty of peace), to the Gadsden purchase of December 30, 1853—about seventy years.
The entire southern boundary of the United States is the line of southern boundary of the public domain, excepting the southern boundary of Texas.
BOUNDARIES OF ALASKA.
The boundaries of Alaska and contiguous islands are fully set out in the convention for the cession of the Russian possessions in North America to the United States, at Washington, March 30, 1867, by William H. Seward on behalf of the United States, and Edouard de Stoeckel on behalf of Russia.
This treaty refers to the treaty made by and between Russia and Great Britain of date February 28–16, 1825, which defined the eastern limits of Alaska where it joins the British possessions. The boundary line between the United States and the British possessions is all marked and determined, except as to the Alaska purchase.
The entire area of Alaska is public domain.